Confession time, I’m a huge Doom fanboy. It was the second FPS shooter I ever played back when owning a Packard Bell 486 meant you were at the top of the PC gaming food chain. Since those early days, I’ve spent countless hours double-barrel blasting my way through hordes of zombies, demons and any other monstrosities the pits of hell can throw my way. However, with the exception of the Doom Eternal Announcement, nothing has gotten me more amped up for Doom than the announcement and subsequent re-release of Doom I, II and III on the console. As a long time fan of the series the thought of rounding out my Doom Switch collection (so I really only had Doom 2016) on my favorite console was almost too much to take in. Armed with my trusty boomstick I downloaded all three titles and waded back onto the shores of Hell. So grab that coffee, kick back and enjoy our Doom I, II, and III Switch review.
Since its original 1993 release, Doom remains a true classic and the grandpappy of the FPS genre. It hasn’t lost any of its intensity over the years with its speed and gunplay feeling crisp and responsive on the Nintendo Switch. The game comes packed with the three original campaigns as well as the 1995 Episode Thy Flesh Consumed. As an added fun fact, Thy Flesh Consumed was the first contributions of Tim Willits and was unique in that every level was inspired by a verse from the Bible(thank you Wikipedia). The gameplay and controls work flawlessly on the Nintendo Switch port and with full rumble support, blasting Demons feels right at home on this portable console. The game performs exceptionally well with no frame rate drops or gameplay bugs. It really was an excellent experience to play through.
I did discover one interesting issue that may or may not only affect the Switch version of the game. As I tend to play in dedicated mobile mode I quite frequently play for ten to twenty-minute runs. This, in turn, means I am constantly putting the Switch into sleep mode in between the aforementioned runs. At the time of writing, I discovered that If I left the Switch in sleep mode for more than about 15 minutes the game would freeze up.
I tracked this down to a Bethesda authentication issue. Once again, as of the time of writing if you sign in to your Slayerclub account, every time the game fires back up it needs to authenticate. For whatever reason, the game locks up and has to be restarted. The workaround is to either disconnect the Switch from the internet or simply exit out of the game every time you’re done playing. It’s a bit frustrating but something that will hopefully be patched out in an update.
Despite this issue, Doom I is still a whole lot of fun on the Switch and I would still recommend picking it up. If you grew up on the title or have ever wanted to know where the roots of the genre really came from, Doom I is definitely worth the purchase.
Much like its predecessor, Doom II hits me in the Nostalgia feels. Originally built on the same engine, the game added some new features including some more in-depth level design, interesting new monsters to destroy and most importantly the Double Barrel Shotgun. As with its predecessor, Doom II feels right at home on the Switch. It plays seamlessly on the little console that could and the controls and rumble are back for this second outing. The game comes packed with the original title as well as the Master Levels which were 20 additional levels created by fans under the guidance of the development team.
Unfortunately, it is also plagued by the Bethesda.net bug meaning that until it is patched out, you’ll need to rely on the above-mentioned workarounds to get through the game. It’s a bit of a frustrating issue but worth working through to have access to this classic on the Switch.
Of all of the Doom titles, DOOM III has probably been the most controversial over the years. When it was originally released back in 2004, It was received mixed reviews. Some appreciated its attempt to weave story and lore into the franchise while others felt it was too much of a departure from the original titles. At the time I felt that the game was lackluster and too slow mechanically. This may have, at least in part, been due to the fact that at the time the system requirements for the title where much higher than the average PC player had to access to.
In hindsight, I really approached DOOM III with the wrong attitude. After spending the last 8 or so hours shooting my way through the title I have to confess that I am enjoying it way more than I remember. It looks great on the Switch with the smaller screen format translating to solid FPS and smooth animations. The visuals themselves look more like the BFG re-release than the original release version and the game comes packed with not only the OG game but also the Resurrection of Evil and the Lost Missions expansions.
Mechanically the games play exceptionally well. The controls feel closer to DOOM 2016 and are snappy and responsive. Much like my critique of most shooters ported to the switch, DOOM III does struggle with a bit of an accuracy issue due to the Nintendo’s Joy-Cons just not being as sensitive as the PS4 or Xbox controllers. Despite this, DOOM III performs well and has probably been the most enjoyable of the three to play through. Unlike its predecessors, DOOM III seems to have defeated the Bethesda.net boss and for all of my many hours spent in-game I have yet to run into the aforementioned issue with sleep mode.
Switch codes for all three games were provided for the purpose of review.